Eastern Wake: Sports

Corinth Holders’ Barry Honeycutt: Coaches must communicate

Corinth Holders football coach Barry Honeycutt has been on both sides of the table when a football coach is hired.

After serving as coach at Triton from 1991-99, the South Johnston High graduate went into school administration, while spending two seasons at Clayton as an assistant coach. He served as principal at South Johnston before working in the Johnston County Schools central office. That’s when he got the opportunity to start the football program at Johnston County’s Corinth Holders.

“A coach has to be very organized in terms of getting things done,” Honeycutt said. “There is so much to do that does not involve actually coaching football. You have to delegate ... to create time to deal with team issues and player issues.

“You have to be a communicator. You need to able to talk to parents and gain their support as well as communicate with them about their child when they have questions.”

And the ways kids communicate between each other and with their teachers and coaches is much different than it was during Honeycutt’s first head coaching job when text messages and tweets didn’t dominate the modern communication methods of high school students.

“It is also important to understand the lives of the kids we coach today,” he said. “They live in a world that is fast paced and busy, and they do more than one thing. We try very hard not to make kids pick between us and anything else.

“We try to design offseason workouts and conditioning so that it does not create conflicts. We work with parents and vacations and trips during the summer. I think when your players know that you care about the total package and not just what goes on at football, they appreciate you more as well.

“A coach needs to see the total picture.”

Honeycutt said a high school coach has to be very good at the fundamentals, too, but he believes most coaches know the X’s and O’s part of the game.

“The part that makes a coach successful and allows him to stay at a school for a long time is all the other stuff,” Honeycutt said. “Community, school, communication, involvement, seeing the total picture all lead to longevity.”

Winning games is not always the best measure of success, he said.

“Helping young men become great young men and to be successful is a huge part of our positions,” Honeycutt said. “A coach that does not care about those things and is only concerned with wins and losses will never last at a school and in the end will not be a success.”